Housing Market Renewal in a nutshell

HMR tried to fix the problem of  of depopulation in The Midlands and the North of England by demolishing up to 400,000 houses in key locations. Many were Victorian terraces, although houses of all ages were at risk. HMR aimed to expand housing choice, give people gardens and raise house prices. They worked on the assumption that there was a housing surplus yet often they were inhabited and in good condition. In places like the Welsh Streets there was not a surplus, but a shortage of housing. Far from low demand the location was desirable, so as in many HMR areas removing the population proved to be much harder than the scheme’s academics had assumed.

Naturally people started to ask questions as they watched people being forced out of their homes. Influential organisations such as SAVE and the Rowntree Trust  published their doubts in reports. Press coverage was vital and Academics (minton, allen, glynn, edge) started to pitch in. Questions were asked in Parliament and their answers implied that registered social landlords enjoyed extensive exemption form their own code of practice.

By November 2010 the funding for the HMR scheme was cut, promises of new homes were un-met and thousands of empty homes tinned up and  abandoned to the elements. By this time Merseyside had 13 thousand empty homes, and 23 thousand seeking  housing.